Baby Kale & Portobello Salad with Walnuts and Sun Dried Tomatoes

I can never get enough salad – I think there are so many fantastic creations out there.

This one is simple and super delicious!

Baby Kale Salad with Portobello

Baby Kale Salad with Portobello

Baby Kale  & Portobello Salad with Walnuts and Sun-dried Tomatoes 

Baby kale

4 Portobello Mushrooms

1 clove of garlic

Freshly squeezed lemon juice

6 sun-dried tomatoes

A good handful of coarsely chopped walnuts

3 Tablespoons of Balsamic vinegar reduction

1 teaspoon of good Dijon Mustard

1/3 cup Olive Oil

1 clove of freshly squeezed garlic

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse the baby kale and put it on a clean cloth to take a way excess water before putting it in a salad bowl.

Clean the portobello and chop them.

Portobello

Portobello

Fry them with a bit of olive oil in a pan- till they are golden. Add sea salt, lemon juice, garlic and some freshly ground pepper. Leave them to cool slightly before adding them to the salad.

Cut the sun-dried tomatoes and chop the walnuts. Add to the salad.

Make the dressing;

Dressing

Dressing

For this salad I used a really great local balsamic vinegar reduction that I have fallen in love with  – “Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Cabernet Merlot Reduction made with love! “ – it’s intense and slightly sweet, you can taste it’s made with love (perfect for salad and so many other things)

Nonna Pia's Vinegar

Nonna Pia’s Balsamic Vinegar

In a bowl, put the Dijon mustard and the balsamic vinegar. Stir together. Whisk in the olive oil little by little. Add sea salt and freshly squeezed garlic.

Toss the salad together and enjoy on it’s own or like this with parmesan or some goat cheese.

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Plant-wild week-day 3

I’m well into this adventure and feeling amazing, vibrant and full of energy – it does make a difference, whether I fill myself or nourish myself. I run better on plants than on spareribs and ice cream!

Another thing I think is really cool, is that it is so easy to go shopping, I just head for the vegetable section of the grocery store, stock up on veggies and fruits, and away I go.

Okay, so last night’s dinner had some bread dough left over – which I had covered with a very wet cloth and left on the kitchen counter for the night. This morning I turned on the oven to 415 F, and before having my shower I scooped out the dough onto a baking sheet and put it in the oven. When I finished the shower, the bread was ready – about 20-25 min later – hot yummy bread.

Today’s breakfast-  slices of bread served with coconut butter, honey, walnuts and fresh blueberries – and a glass of smoothie made from fresh blueberries, raspberries, a good chunk of fresh juicy pineapple, some frozen summer berries and a handful of almonds. The almonds make the smoothie creamy and filling, the berries makes it irresistibly delicious.

Snack

Green juice and fresh peach

One bunch of collard greens

5 sweet apples

a slice of fresh ginger

1 lemon

Run it through the juicer and serve  on ice with slices of fresh peach.

Lunch

Warm kale Salad with tahini, lemon/garlic dressing, pine nuts and red pepper

Ingredients

2 big bunches of kale

one red pepper

2 spoons of pine nuts

For the dressing:

2 small tablespoons of apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons of tahini

1 clove of garlic

2 teaspoons of agave sirup/maple sirup

2 teaspoons  tamari

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1/3 cup water

a good squeeze of lemon

sea salt

Put everything into the blender and blend it into a creamy tasty dressing.

Wash the kale and take the leaves off of the stem. Roll up a couple of leaves at a time and cut thinly. Slice the red pepper into strips. In a frying pan, add some olive oil and saute the red pepper, add the kale – saute for a couple of minutes and add sea salt. Serve warm with the tahini dressing, pine nuts on top and some extra lemon for those who like.

Dinner

Summer Paella with vegetable served with baked cherry tomatoes on the wine

One favorite recipe in our family is paella with seafood, chicken and with intense flavors of fresh herbs, saffron,tomatoes, garlic and wine. Today I have left out the seafood and the chicken and made a delicious version with only vegetables. I was anticipating that there would be some complaints, about the missing seafood and chicken, but no, everyone ate and enjoyed.

I served it with a simple green salad with a oil/vinaigrette dressing

I used:

4 shallots

3 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon of tomato pure

200g of fresh ripe tomatoes

200g of sweet cherry tomatoes on the vine

300g of green beans

1 bunch of green asparagus

1 red pepper

lemon

1 teaspoon of paprika

fresh oregano

fresh thyme

1 1/2 cup of long grained rice

1 l. of vegetable stock

a dash of white wine

Prepare the vegetable so that they are ready to go in the paella. Wash and cut the red pepper into bite size, wash the asparagus and green beans and cut into smaller pieces,

Finely chop the shallots – (Shallots have a more intense flavor than regular onions, the limo of onions), garlic, fresh thyme and oregano. In a saute pan add some olive oil and gently saute the shallots, garlic, fresh herbs, add a spoon full of tomato paste and the paprika, add the rice and mix it with all the ingredients, add a good pinch of saffron, stir, add a dash of wine – let it reduce, while stirring.

Now add the vegetable stock and cook gently with a lid, stir the dish every now and them. Depending on how you like your vegetables done you can start adding them in at this time. I like my vegetables just crunchy so I put in the green beans already when the rice has cooked about 3/4 of it time and then wait a couple of minutes before putting in the red pepper. In the meantime, put the cherry  tomatoes in the oven – see below. Stir the rice dish again and again to prevent it from sticking and burning on the bottom, and now add the red peppers, wait a couple of minutes and finally add the asparagus, put the lid back on and cook another 3-4 min.

Cherry tomatoes – Turn the oven on at 350F. Place the sweet cherry tomatoes on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sea salt, bake and keep and eye on them – for about 15 min keep them warm.

When the dish is ready and the vegetables are done to your liking – season with sea-salt, fresh pepper and freshly squeezed lemon juice. Serve the dish with the baked cherry tomatoes on top!

I must admit I was dreaming of seafood while I was making this dish – but it tasted so good I completely forgot all about the seafood and thouroughly enjoyed every bite!

Red quinoa salad with cherry dressing, walnuts, goat cheese and basil

We are now getting gorgeous cherries, the deepest red, sweet, tasty and succulent – beautiful in a salad.

The other day I had quinoa cooked in coconut milk for breakfast, with cherries. It was an idea from one of my favorite blogs,  In pursuit of more , and it was so delicious!

Quinoa is a nutritional powerhouse – its protein content is higher than in any other grain , it is also a perfect source of dietary fiber and ion.

To develop more of this good stuff I decided to make a salad – cherries with quinoa!

I made a red quinoa salad tossed in a cherry/garlic dressing, served with walnuts, more cherries and crumbled creamy goat cheese on top – it turned out to be so good that we made it 3 days in a row!

Here’s the recipe:

Cook 2 cups of red quinoa according to package. Put it aside to cool.

For the dressing:

15 fresh cherries, pitted

2 spoons of good balsamic vinegar

6 -8 spoons of olive oil

1 clove of garlic

sea salt

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend to a smooth dressing consistency.

Add the dressing to the quinoa – stir it and arrange it in a serving dish. On top add 15 pitted cherries chopped coarsely, add coarsely chopped walnuts and sprinkle with some crumbled creamy goat cheese and some fresh basil leaves.

Cherries are known as a true super fruit –  cherries are high in pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to prevent heart disease by lowering the “bad” cholesterol. Scientists have identified a group of naturally occurring chemicals abundant in cherries that helps lower blood sugar in people with diabetes, the berries have anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce joint pain and arthritis. They are also high in antioxidants helping to prevent heart disease and cancer, they contain melatonin which helps regulate heart rhythm and improve sleep – they are packed with vitamin A, C and E !!  So — mixed with the marvelous quinoa this dish becomes a potent and delicious dish, boosting your health with every bite.

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” Hippocrates, father of medicine, 413 B.C.

Enjoy!

Summer salad from my own harvest!

Okay, today I’m going to brag. I, have grown my very first lettuce, ever! And then I made a delicious salad, with lettuce and herbs – right out of my very own garden. The lettuce in my high beds has finally grown so much that I can go out and “harvest”, exactly what I need for my salad. I am thrilled! I went out with my little wee basket and picked the lettuce we had for lunch!  Hey, it was an awesome feeling, really special!

The tomatoes I used are from the best greengrocer in the area. These local tomatoes are incredible, dark red and full of intense fragrance and taste.

Cut the tomatoes in half, add a slice of garlic on each half and a fresh leaf of basil, drizzled with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on some sea salt and freshly-ground pepper. Bake them slowly for about an hour in a 300F hot oven. Take them out of the oven and let them cool before using. By baking them slowly you get  a really great intense flavor that the garlic and basil accents – making a memorial lunch experience.

To give the salad some body I used freshly cooked and cooled chick peas or you can use canned ones (1 can), drained and rinsed.

The dressing:

2 table spoons of good balsamic vinegar (don’t skimp on the quality – this is essential)

8 spoons of good olive oil (again – really good olive oil makes a great difference)

some sea salt

2 cloves of garlic

Mix together the balsamic vinegar with the olive oil, sea salt and freshly squeezed garlic – set it aside.

Cut a couple of slices of great bread, preferably slightly stale – cut them into cubes and fry them in a bit of olive oil – until very slightly golden. Turned off the heat and add some freshly squeezed garlic and some sea salt. Mix it around and set aside.

Rinse the lettuce and herbs carefully and put them on a clean cloth to drain excess water off.

Tear the lettuce and herbs into smaller pieces and put them in a salad bowl along with the chick peas, the baked tomatoes and the bread. Pour on the dressing and mix all well together, leave it to rest for a few minutes, so the salad and the bread soak up the dressing and absorb all the flavours. Arrange the salad on plates or in bowls and serve immediately.

Enjoy!